Asterand PLC noted the recent announcement by BTG that BGC20-1531, a novel EP4 receptor antagonist for the treatment of migraine headaches which is licensed to BTG, is planned to enter Phase IIa studies in the second half of 2009 with data anticipated in the second half of 2010.
If clinical proof of principle is demonstrated in these studies, BTG will seek development partners to conduct Phase IIb and subsequent studies.
In a clinical study recently presented by BTG, BGC20-1531 was shown to be an effective painkiller in both inflammatory and neurogenic pain induced in healthy volunteers. The data from this study provides confidence for the further development of BGC20-1531 for the effective treatment of migraine, Asterand said.
BTG licensed BGC20-1531 from Asterand in January 2006, completed preclinical development and entered the first Phase I trial in January 2008.
House Broker to Asterand, Daniel Stewart, recently added the human tissue and associated research services provider to its “Top Picks” portfolio. Asterand was added because the current state of the drug development industry is creating new market opportunities for specialist providers like Asterand.
Today, Daniel Stewart reiterated its “buy” recommendation, noting that Asterand has a number of compounds in its portfolio that have shown “early promise” in the areas of immuno-inflammatory disease, preterm labour, bone disease, eye disease, cancer and IBS.
“Although management considers the group’s legacy portfolio of preclinical molecules to be a non-core asset, they are still seeking to license these compounds out to potential partners,” Daniel Stewart added.